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Oil leaking from stricken Mexican bulker

Oil leaking from stricken Mexican bulker

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Twenty months after it grounded along the western coastline of Mexico, the Los Llanitos bulk carrier is leaking oil, despite authorities having claimed that all fuel had been removed in November 2015.

The 223 m ran aground near Barra de Navidad, Jalisco, during Hurricane Patricia in October 2015. At the time it looked like the ship would break up on the rocks. Authorities mulled scuttling it to create an artificial reef. They also looked at the possibility of dismantling it on site. However, in the end nothing has happened, and the vessel is still lying prone on rocks near the tourist town of Puerto Vallarta.

The environmental protection agency has now asked the ship’s owner, Cyprus Sea Lines, to install an absorption and containment boom around the Los Llanitos.

The agency said the oil appeared to be remnants of petroleum products remaining in the ship’s tanks, which were pumped out following the accident. A salvage firm removed 11,000 liters of oil and almost 500 cu m of diesel.

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Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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